If I were a rich man, the media would likely bash me. But if I were a female billionaire, I would become "good news" according to ABC and NBC.
While both ABC and NBC have called very successful CEOs examples of "runaway pay," there was no animosity to be found toward extremely high-earning women during the March 8 "World News with Charles Gibson" or "Nightly News."
In fact, after CNBC's Maria Bartiromo stated that 83 women made Forbes magazine's billionaires list on NBC "Nightly News," anchor Campbell Brown chimed: "All right, that's good news."
ABC's "World News" lauded the 1 percent club: "self-made members of the fairer sex," but left out Forbes statement that 60 percent of those on the billionaires list all made their fortunes from scratch.
NBC had some "horror stories" to share with its audience on March 7, according to "Nightly News" anchor Campbell Brown. Brown introduced the report by Lisa Myers that told the story of Wesley Wannemacher, a man who's $3,200 credit card debt ballooned to $10,700 after interest and penalties.
Wannemacher's plight also featured prominently in similar segments on ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" and CBS "Evening News" for the same day. [continued after jump]
Apparently it's not much to CBS "Evening News" which promoted California's solar power initiative to "get people to think green by giving them some green," according to anchor Katie Couric on March 6.
Reporter John Blackstone argued that families who choose solar power do not suffer and "get something priceless. By living under one of California's million solar roofs they're helping the earth while helping themselves."
But the panels still costs at least $18,000 after the state and federal rebates and a Washington Post article said they actually cost $5,000 more initially than CBS said.
Blackstone also explained that Californians use less electricity per capita than other states, but left out how expensive energy is in California. You can find Dan Gainor's full story from the Business & Media Institute here.
The media love a "green" story. As Al Gore and Hollywood celebrities champion the practice of carbon offsetting -- donating money toward an energy-saving project while still taking your vacation -- the media buzz in agreement.
"If more people do it over time, it's a good thing," said CBS reporter Russ Mitchell during a carbon offset story on the February 22 "Early Show."
Carbon offsetting is hypocritical because it allows the extremely wealthy, like Al Gore, to still use enormous amounts of energy (1 million miles of global air travel in 2005 and more than 20 times the national average of power usage in 2006), while telling everyone else to conserve energy to save the planet from climate destruction.
"Your chances of being stuck on a stuffy airliner for hours on a taxiway – like passengers on recent JetBlue flights – are slim, the government reported yesterday," the Associated Press reported on March 6.
That was the very same day USA Today emphasized that "588 flights sat for more than two hours on taxiways before taking off in January," and highlighted "calls for federal regulation to prevent recurrences."
"Well you know I wish I had better news, but the numbers this week were just horrific," said CNN correspondent Gerri Willis.
The numbers she referred to were home prices and new-home sales, which were down. After briefly mentioning the increase in existing-home sales (which make up a larger share of the housing market), Willis dismissed it.
With the help of CNN's Allen Wastler, the duo played up fears of recession on the March 3 program.
Wastler and Willis wrapped up the housing segment playing on viewers’ fears of a recession after an up-and-down week on Wall Street. Willis said the question wasn’t simply what happens in the housing market, but in the overall economy.
“The conversation about recession this week isn’t just bad for the stock markets; it’s also bad for housing,” Willis said. “When people lose their jobs, we know what happens.” You can read the Business & Media Institute article here.
Perhaps you spotted the pro-universal health care story on today’s New York Times front page, but what you likely didn’t read speaks volumes about the Times.
The article was an example of selective reporting based on a NY Times/CBS News poll which included loaded questions and only provided liberal answers for respondents to pick from.
One of the most loaded questions asked, “How serious a problem is it for the U.S. that many Americans do not have health insurance – very serious, somewhat serious, not too serious, or not at all serious?” Not surprisingly, 70 percent of respondents chose “very serious.”
Last night, "Nightly News" and "Evening News" chose to inject a negative reference to the housing market into economy stories following Tuesday's stock market drop to make it look worse to viewers.
Both programs mentioned the 16.6 percent decrease in new home sales for January calling it the biggest drop in 13 years. But both networks also left out positive data for the same month available from the National Association of Realtors.
NBC reporter Carl Quintanilla even provided viewers with what he termed a "nightmare scenario: that home values plummet, more Americans default on their mortgages and stop spending."
The entire Business & Media Institute story can be found here.
MRC's Business & Media Institute director Dan Gainor appeared on "Your World with Neil Cavuto" earlier to talk about the way the media covered yesterday's stock market slide.
"CBS, which always ends up being the worst in all of our studies for covering the economy, took a 3 percent drop and turned it into a disastrous, uh -- made it look like it's, you know, the end of the world," Gainor told Fox News Channel viewers.
As for any good economic news, "they buried it in the middle of a report" and then compared it to the two biggest stock losses in history, Gainor continued.
Last night, ABC "World News with Charles Gibson" and CBS "Evening News" devoured a recent report from the food police: Center for Science in the Public Interest. The CSPI report charges casual dining restaurants with serving high calorie and high fat appetizers, entrees and desserts and promotes federally mandated nutrition information on menus.
While both programs did include restaurant spokesmen, the meat of both stories came straight from the CSPI release which is not surprising since CSPI experts frequently appear in network news stories -- most recently on February 20, 21, 22, 23 and then in the "extreme eating" stories on the 26th.
Promoting a recent study by the food police group Center for Science in the Public Interest, a report during CNN's "American Morning" today favored further regulation of restaurants, targeting UNO Chicago Grill and Ruby Tuesday in particular.
"When you go to a restaurant you better be watching what you're eating, because some of the calories you get can be extreme," said reporter Greg Hunter before introducing CSPI nutritionist Jayne Hurley.
In total, Hurley's view was represented with a full minute and 46 seconds, compared to Ruby Tuesday's senior vice president who was given 10 seconds. Read the full Business & Media Institute story here.
The media adore hybrid automobiles for the gas mileage and the green factor, but changes in fuel-economy beginning in 2008 will hit hybrids hard.
“Toyota’s Prius, best-known and best-selling gas-electric car in the USA, drops to 48 miles per gallon in the city under the ’08 testing procedure, from a 60 mpg rating under the current system – a 20% decline. Its highway mileage rating falls about 12%, to 45 mpg,” USA Today reported on its front page February 23.
You can read the entire Business & Media Institute article here.
Ripping a line straight from a TV infomercial, CBS reporter Kelly Wallace downplayed the true cost of "emergency elder home care" provided by Freddie Mac with one little phrase:
"Just $15 a day."
But wait a minute ... that comes out to $5,475 a year for the employee who needs this benefit for an aging parent. The 'Evening News' segment from February 21 blatantly advocated for companies to provide elder care assistance to employees, scolded those that do not and urged workers to ask for these programs. Read the full Business & Media Institute article here.
If you make more money than I do is that anyone’s problem?
The news media made a big deal out of “income inequality” especially “out of control” CEO pay as NBC’s Carl Quintanilla called it on Oct. 20, 2006 during the “Today” show. Robin Roberts took aim at the same topic: “Now to the golden parachute that has a lot of people seeing red,” during “Good Morning America” on January 4.
But the reports on the income gap missed two alternative perspectives from economists: that the widening income gap is an illusion and that in either case the gap really doesn’t matter. Read the full Business & Media Institute report here.
Cancer is truly a tragedy in every case, but that was no excuse for ABC "World News Tonight's" shoddy shell game during the February 15 broadcast.
In a segment on reduced federal funding for cancer research, anchor Charles Gibson introduced the story by stating that the National Cancer Institute has seen funding decreases in the past two years and the Bush budget is promoting a third cut.
But by the time reporter Lisa Stark actually did any math she was using the budget cuts from one non-profit organization, but hadn't bothered to explain why. And that wasn't the only thing Stark left out of the segment.
You can find the entire Business & Media Institute story here.
"Consider the case closed on global warming," wrote Time's Bryan Walsh in the Feb. 19, 2007 issue.
Walsh's article also stated that the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had found the culprit for climate change: humans. Throughout the piece Walsh advocated government mandates and highlighted main points of the IPCC report that he agreed with, but undermined the point that wasn't frightening enough (how much sea levels are predicted to rise).
You can find the Business & Media Institute's full story by Amy Menefee here.
To listen to Harry Smith, you'd think Mickey was drowning.
ABC, NBC and CBS were so busy with their hysterics about global warming as the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) summary report was released that they missed downward revisions to predictions of rising sea levels.
“Do people here [South Beach, Fla.] know that very likely in the next – well several decades – all of this is going to be underwater?” CBS “Early Show” anchor Harry Smith asked in an interview about the appeal of Miami, Florida.